I play old games that only came out in Japan (SNES Fire Emblem)

Oh Fire Emblem. A franchise that I am totally cool with being some variation of the exact same thing in every installment. Yes, swords will beat axes, axes will beat lances and lances will beat swords. Yes, you will invariably start with a pre-promoted character (usually a Paladin) who starts out powerful and either ends up sucking (Jeigan archetype) or actually is able to keep up with the rest of your army (Oifaye archetype). Yes, you will have two cavaliers, one red and one green who specialize in strength and speed. Actually, just read the franchise wiki page. It's quite well done. Point is, Fire Emblem is totally rad and I know fully well that I will end up playing every game in the franchise (as well as the “Totally not Fire Emblem” PS1 game Tear Ring Saga) at some point, regardless of the fact that the NES installments have undoubtedly aged super poorly and probably weren't all that amazing to begin with in Gaiden's case. Thus, to make good on that, I will attempt to talk about a few of them without sounding like a raving lunatic. It will be difficult, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. Oh, and don't worry if you've never heard of them. They're all Japan-only this time, so I'm sure this blog will get lots of comments, just like that one time I wrote about how I thought Alpha Protocol was bad. For the record, I still stand by that statement and when I made my now former roommate play through it he said the same thing.

Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Genealogy of the Holy War)

In which I talk about a game that you have most certainly not played and convince you to play it. Also Incest.

Maybe you have heard of this game. I know I certainly have. Some guy on our forums seems to consider it to be the best game ever. He's wrong, but Seisen no Keifu is clearly where Fire Emblem started hitting its stride. Whereas the first three games are some variety of ok, I feel like this one in particular represents a rather large leap in quality in both a gameplay and story perspective. Is it perfect? No. Is it a hella cool Fire Emblem game? Yes. And let me tell you why. With words.

Released in mid 1996, Seisen no Keifu is the 4 game in the series and one of the most popular (in Japan). In fact, it was the best selling title in the series until Awakening came out earlier this year. It introduced the weapon triangle in addition to skills. However, while the weapon triangle has gone on to be a definitive part of the series, and skills have been in most of the newer titles, the single most unique thing in Seisen no Keifu is that it takes place across two generations of characters. The first half deals with Sigurd of Chalphy trying to find his father (which of course turns into a story of intrigue as he is branded a traitor and has to clear his name) and the second half has his son Celice and everyone else's kids finishing where their parents left off.

Sigurd gets points in my book for being the only Fire Emblem protagonist clearly over the age of 16. Also he's crazy powerful, which helps. Pity his son is like 15 and looks like a girl.

While the story is still very much a plucky young hero and his friends defeating an evil empire (that their parents inadvertently helped create), there is a surprising amount of characterization and incidental dialogue between both generations. Indeed, though the translation patch is at times a bit stilted and overly literal, it still gets a surprisingly well-told story across. Dark cults, family drama, incest, potential incest and waifu obtaining all get their fair share alongside storytelling tropes that one would expect from a game like this. It's a pity then, that the translation patch I was using doesn't have the ending translated (apparently it's bugged or something), and I had to look it up on the internets instead.

Anyways, it's a Fire Emblem game. However, the maps are insanely huge (there are only 12 of them) and often requires you to capture one enemy castle before moving on to the next one. As a result, the game is rather lenient with its saves, since you can do so every turn without penalty. You can also deploy everyone in your army at all times. These tilt the balance of the game towards mounted units, which is fine and dandy since half of your army is mounted in either generation. Foot soldiers have their place as well (the swordmasters in this game are crazy good, for example), but the two generals you get are totally garbage and not worth touching at all.

However, low movement units are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of the insanity that lurks beneath the hood. While the first generation is respectably difficult most of the time, despite Sigurd being a death machine from level 1, the difficulty of the second generation revolves heavily on which characters you paired with which mother in the first (and if you didn't pair them at all you get hilariously crappy replacement characters). Like the support system in later games, pairing characters is as simple as making them stand next to each other for an inordinate amount of time until they have a conversation or get a mark on their status bar. While there are no wrong pairings per se, there are most certainly right pairings. While these have been discussed to death by the contentious and debate-happy Fire Emblem fan community, it bears in mind that if you pair Arya (a swordmaster) with say... Lex (an axe knight), her two kids will gain double experience, attack first at low health and have respectable amounts of defense and HP in addition to their already high speed, skill and inherent meteor sword skill (5 hits full damage).

Assuming you pair Levin with Fury, Sety is entirely capable of steamrolling most enemy opposition thanks to the +20 speed granted by the holy wind tome Holsety

Thus, it is unsurprising to say that one of the things that Seisen no Keifu has no sense of whatsoever is balance. Holy weapons give +20 to certain stats, Wind Magic and Swords are significantly lighter than other types of weapons and the game occasionally decides to throw like 25 high level enemies at you at once, which is all well and good since your characters are supposed to be broken enough to deal with them. Even if you for some unholy reason decided to do an all-replacements run, the preset units in generation 2 (namely Aless, Celice, Shannan and Altenna) have enough holy weapon lolbroken-ness to at least even out the last two or three chapters. I'm pretty silent on the first generation in this respect, because for the most part the first generation doesn't have this problem, since only Levin and Briggid have holy weapons before the last chapter.

I could probably go on and on about this game, but I will suffice to say that if you are a fan of the series and don't mind the legally questionable zone of downloading ROMs and translation patches then you should most certainly play Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu. But before I go... bonus games!?!?!?

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

...Which is a pity since he's so awesome in Seisen no Keifu
Leaf kinda sucks in this game...

Unlike the wall of text that you just read, I have not finished Thracia 776, the other crazy SNES Fire Emblem game (released in 1999, which is totally crazy), and is a midquel that takes place right before and during the second generation of Seisen no Keifu. It's more standard in the way it's structured, and is notable for introducing the rescue command, fog of war maps and multiple victory conditions. It's also notable for being BALLS HARD, which is why I haven't finished it and why it's a footnote in this blog. However, from the half or so that I have finished, I can tell you that it's fantastic. Unlike something like say... Act 1 of Radiant Dawn the difficulty comes from the fact that most of your units are capable, rather than wet paper that dies in two hits. You will probably be hearing more about this from me in the future, assuming my current Fire Emblem bender holds.

I also played and finished the second DS Fire Emblem (Shin Monshou no Nazo), and it's quite good. However, not much needs to be said, other than that the translation patch isn't finished and that it is basically like Shadow Dragon but better. A lot better. Because Shadow Dragon was kinda bleh.

And thus concludes a blog. About video games. You should play them. I obtained Suikoden IV for free as part of a buy 2 get 1 free sale at Play-N-Trade. That may have been a poor choice. The Civ V expansion seems pretty cool. I'm out.

45 Comments
46 Comments
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Oh Fire Emblem. A franchise that I am totally cool with being some variation of the exact same thing in every installment. Yes, swords will beat axes, axes will beat lances and lances will beat swords. Yes, you will invariably start with a pre-promoted character (usually a Paladin) who starts out powerful and either ends up sucking (Jeigan archetype) or actually is able to keep up with the rest of your army (Oifaye archetype). Yes, you will have two cavaliers, one red and one green who specialize in strength and speed. Actually, just read the franchise wiki page. It's quite well done. Point is, Fire Emblem is totally rad and I know fully well that I will end up playing every game in the franchise (as well as the “Totally not Fire Emblem” PS1 game Tear Ring Saga) at some point, regardless of the fact that the NES installments have undoubtedly aged super poorly and probably weren't all that amazing to begin with in Gaiden's case. Thus, to make good on that, I will attempt to talk about a few of them without sounding like a raving lunatic. It will be difficult, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. Oh, and don't worry if you've never heard of them. They're all Japan-only this time, so I'm sure this blog will get lots of comments, just like that one time I wrote about how I thought Alpha Protocol was bad. For the record, I still stand by that statement and when I made my now former roommate play through it he said the same thing.

Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Genealogy of the Holy War)

In which I talk about a game that you have most certainly not played and convince you to play it. Also Incest.

Maybe you have heard of this game. I know I certainly have. Some guy on our forums seems to consider it to be the best game ever. He's wrong, but Seisen no Keifu is clearly where Fire Emblem started hitting its stride. Whereas the first three games are some variety of ok, I feel like this one in particular represents a rather large leap in quality in both a gameplay and story perspective. Is it perfect? No. Is it a hella cool Fire Emblem game? Yes. And let me tell you why. With words.

Released in mid 1996, Seisen no Keifu is the 4 game in the series and one of the most popular (in Japan). In fact, it was the best selling title in the series until Awakening came out earlier this year. It introduced the weapon triangle in addition to skills. However, while the weapon triangle has gone on to be a definitive part of the series, and skills have been in most of the newer titles, the single most unique thing in Seisen no Keifu is that it takes place across two generations of characters. The first half deals with Sigurd of Chalphy trying to find his father (which of course turns into a story of intrigue as he is branded a traitor and has to clear his name) and the second half has his son Celice and everyone else's kids finishing where their parents left off.

Sigurd gets points in my book for being the only Fire Emblem protagonist clearly over the age of 16. Also he's crazy powerful, which helps. Pity his son is like 15 and looks like a girl.

While the story is still very much a plucky young hero and his friends defeating an evil empire (that their parents inadvertently helped create), there is a surprising amount of characterization and incidental dialogue between both generations. Indeed, though the translation patch is at times a bit stilted and overly literal, it still gets a surprisingly well-told story across. Dark cults, family drama, incest, potential incest and waifu obtaining all get their fair share alongside storytelling tropes that one would expect from a game like this. It's a pity then, that the translation patch I was using doesn't have the ending translated (apparently it's bugged or something), and I had to look it up on the internets instead.

Anyways, it's a Fire Emblem game. However, the maps are insanely huge (there are only 12 of them) and often requires you to capture one enemy castle before moving on to the next one. As a result, the game is rather lenient with its saves, since you can do so every turn without penalty. You can also deploy everyone in your army at all times. These tilt the balance of the game towards mounted units, which is fine and dandy since half of your army is mounted in either generation. Foot soldiers have their place as well (the swordmasters in this game are crazy good, for example), but the two generals you get are totally garbage and not worth touching at all.

However, low movement units are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of the insanity that lurks beneath the hood. While the first generation is respectably difficult most of the time, despite Sigurd being a death machine from level 1, the difficulty of the second generation revolves heavily on which characters you paired with which mother in the first (and if you didn't pair them at all you get hilariously crappy replacement characters). Like the support system in later games, pairing characters is as simple as making them stand next to each other for an inordinate amount of time until they have a conversation or get a mark on their status bar. While there are no wrong pairings per se, there are most certainly right pairings. While these have been discussed to death by the contentious and debate-happy Fire Emblem fan community, it bears in mind that if you pair Arya (a swordmaster) with say... Lex (an axe knight), her two kids will gain double experience, attack first at low health and have respectable amounts of defense and HP in addition to their already high speed, skill and inherent meteor sword skill (5 hits full damage).

Assuming you pair Levin with Fury, Sety is entirely capable of steamrolling most enemy opposition thanks to the +20 speed granted by the holy wind tome Holsety

Thus, it is unsurprising to say that one of the things that Seisen no Keifu has no sense of whatsoever is balance. Holy weapons give +20 to certain stats, Wind Magic and Swords are significantly lighter than other types of weapons and the game occasionally decides to throw like 25 high level enemies at you at once, which is all well and good since your characters are supposed to be broken enough to deal with them. Even if you for some unholy reason decided to do an all-replacements run, the preset units in generation 2 (namely Aless, Celice, Shannan and Altenna) have enough holy weapon lolbroken-ness to at least even out the last two or three chapters. I'm pretty silent on the first generation in this respect, because for the most part the first generation doesn't have this problem, since only Levin and Briggid have holy weapons before the last chapter.

I could probably go on and on about this game, but I will suffice to say that if you are a fan of the series and don't mind the legally questionable zone of downloading ROMs and translation patches then you should most certainly play Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu. But before I go... bonus games!?!?!?

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

...Which is a pity since he's so awesome in Seisen no Keifu
Leaf kinda sucks in this game...

Unlike the wall of text that you just read, I have not finished Thracia 776, the other crazy SNES Fire Emblem game (released in 1999, which is totally crazy), and is a midquel that takes place right before and during the second generation of Seisen no Keifu. It's more standard in the way it's structured, and is notable for introducing the rescue command, fog of war maps and multiple victory conditions. It's also notable for being BALLS HARD, which is why I haven't finished it and why it's a footnote in this blog. However, from the half or so that I have finished, I can tell you that it's fantastic. Unlike something like say... Act 1 of Radiant Dawn the difficulty comes from the fact that most of your units are capable, rather than wet paper that dies in two hits. You will probably be hearing more about this from me in the future, assuming my current Fire Emblem bender holds.

I also played and finished the second DS Fire Emblem (Shin Monshou no Nazo), and it's quite good. However, not much needs to be said, other than that the translation patch isn't finished and that it is basically like Shadow Dragon but better. A lot better. Because Shadow Dragon was kinda bleh.

And thus concludes a blog. About video games. You should play them. I obtained Suikoden IV for free as part of a buy 2 get 1 free sale at Play-N-Trade. That may have been a poor choice. The Civ V expansion seems pretty cool. I'm out.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater said:

probably weren't all that amazing to begin with in Gaiden's case.

Damn it. I feel like I should replay Fire Emblem Gaiden so I can defend the poor lady's honor.

@ArbitraryWater said:

Maybe you have heard of this game. I know I certainly have. Some guy on our forums seems to consider it to be the best game ever. He's wrong

*glares the fuck out of you*

@ArbitraryWater said:

Released in mid 1996, Seisen no Keifu is the 4 game in the series and one of the most popular (in Japan).

Funny thing, that: the Jugdral games get hella snubbed in Japan. Lowest scoring entries in Famtisu's book, and most Japanese gamers prefer the Achanea games out of nostalgia. (Yes, I know a ton about Fire Emblem 4, and I will comment on every little thing I see fit.)

@ArbitraryWater said:

but the two generals you get are totally garbage and not worth touching at all.

What about Hannibal? He's a decent unit, although that may be simply by virtue of the entire second generation being a collection of demi-gods. And subs. Plus I've seen videos of Arden kicking some ass as early as chapter 3. IN fact...

@ArbitraryWater said:

it bears in mind that if you pair Arya (a swordmaster) with say... Lex (an axe knight), her two kids will gain double experience, attack first at low health and have respectable amounts of defense and HP in addition to their already high speed, skill and inherent meteor sword skill (5 hits full damage).

True, but pair her with Holyn, and you have two steamrolling death machines. Meteor Sword and Lunar Sword?

Oh, and I can't quote anything for this, but I consider modern Fire Emblem to have been codified with Thracia 776, for pretty much all the reasons you listed. Oh, except for the balls hard difficulty and the fatigue system that nobody has been keen on recreating. Hell, even Tear Ring Saga stays the hell away from that, and did I tell you that that game has 100% critical rates?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King: I'm not going to go over it point by point, but I figure that using Arden requires you to go out of your way to put him in combat, since it will most undoubtedly be done by the time he gets there. Hannibal isn't awful, but he is kind of ancillary by the time you get him. Same goes for Corple, though at least I paired Claude with Sylvia so he started with the Valkyrie staff.

Edited by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater said:

Same goes for Corple, though at least I paired Claude with Sylvia so he started with the Valkyrie staff.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the only pairing for Corple and Leen. In fact...OK, it's not canon, but given all the incest in the game, it might as well be :P.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King: I feel bad for anyone who was tricked into pairing Levin with Sylvia. Yeah, sure, Corple has pretty great stats and starts with Holsety, but he still has to gain 19 levels to use it and only two maps left, whereas pairing Levin with Tiltyu gives it to Arthur, who joins halfway through Chapter 6.

Edited by Mento

Well I... it's clear that... in my case, I've...

Oh hey, I see you bought Suikoden IV. I hope you like boats and Biebers!

Moderator
Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

I came in here expecting a love letter to VGK and you did not deliver.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Guided_By_Tigers said:

I came in here expecting a love letter to VGK and you did not deliver.

Good!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Guided_By_Tigers said:

I came in here expecting a love letter to VGK and you did not deliver.

What. Are people secretly making ArbitraryWater/VGK slash fics behind my back? There are like... 3 other people on these forums who have played this game.

@Mento: Clearly I have succeeded in making this blog post accessible to the user who has not played a Fire Emblem game. Suikoden IV was more of a "Hey, if I get this along with Paper Mario and L.A. Noire I wouldn't have to pay a cent for it!!" type decision. Unfortunately, now I have to play through L.A. Noire at some point.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater said:

What. Are people secretly making ArbitraryWater/VGK slash fics behind my back?

....I'd like to see this fan fic, especially since your blogs don't have any type of crazy narrative attached to them.

@ArbitraryWater said:

Unfortunately, now I have to play through L.A. Noire at some point.

?

Posted by Slag

@ArbitraryWater said:

About video games. You should play them.

I'd like but I have no idea how to a) acquire Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu and b) whether I can even play it on my existing set-ups in English (and so so legally to boot). I've long wanted to, I dig the Fire Emblem games.

I obtained Suikoden IV for free as part of a buy 2 get 1 free sale at Play-N-Trade. That may have been a poor choice.

I fear that it was. Very long, slow dull Suikoden game. Worst in the series imo. Very and uninspired slow boat travel, uninteresting characters and boring combat. I found it tolerable since I love Suikoden, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Posted by Hailinel

To be fair, a lot of those crazy tropes that are so common to Fire Emblem were completely flipped on their head in Radiant Dawn.

Posted by NegativeCero
@Slag: Same here. I want to play these games but don't want to go through the hassle of playing them on ROMs. Mostly because I have no idea how to move it over from my computer to say my PSP. But talking about that is against forum rules, so forget I said anything.

Great read though. I'm going through Shadow Dragon for the first time and enjoying. Story is not impressive or anything, but still fun. But now it frustrates me that there are so many that never made it out of Japan. At least Awakening is coming for 3DS.
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag said:

whether I can even play it on my existing set-ups in English

It's an SNES game. You should be fine.

Edited by Turambar
@Slag said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

About video games. You should play them.

I'd like but I have no idea how to a) acquire Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu and b) whether I can even play it on my existing set-ups in English (and so so legally to boot). I've long wanted to, I dig the Fire Emblem games.

I obtained Suikoden IV for free as part of a buy 2 get 1 free sale at Play-N-Trade. That may have been a poor choice.

I fear that it was. Very long, slow dull Suikoden game. Worst in the series imo. Very and uninspired slow boat travel, uninteresting characters and boring combat. I found it tolerable since I love Suikoden, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Get the Rom, patch it with the patch, play it via an SNES emulator.  It would technically be legal as the game has never been licensed outside of Japan.
Posted by Slag

@Video_Game_King said:

@Slag said:

whether I can even play it on my existing set-ups in English

It's an SNES game. You should be fine.

If it were in English yeah. I don't speak/read japanese

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Slag:

There's a mostly complete translation of it, though. You can find it on That-Site-I'm-Wary-of-Mentioning-But-You-Can-Find-on-This-Site's-Shin-Megami-Tensei-Page....Dot-Net. Oh, and I can't believe I haven't used this, yet:

Posted by Slag

@Turambar said:

Get the Rom, patch it with the patch, play it via an SNES emulator. It would technically be legal as the game has never been licensed outside of Japan.

Yeah I imagine that would be about the only option. Still would rather pay for it if possible, since I like the series enough. For now my backlog is extensive enough I'm content to wait and hope it eventually comes to US sometime.

anyway thanks to you and for your thoughts on this. Kinda confirms what I already know, but it doesn't hurt to hear it anyway.

anyway let's refrain from discussing that further just to be on the safe side. Videogames!

Posted by jking47

Alright, if both are recommending it, guess I need to go try this. Any approximation on how long it is? Also, should I just wing it with pairing people or should I read up first and figure out what I want to do?

Posted by Turambar
@jking47 said:

Alright, if both @ArbitraryWater and @Video_Game_King are recommending it, guess I need to go try this. Any approximation on how long it is? Also, should I just wing it with pairing people or should I read up first and figure out what I want to do?

It's about...20 hours?  Maybe a bit less?  As for pairings, some are definitely better than others, but the game is easy enough that, as ArbitraryWater said, you can get by with just about any pairing.
Edited by Video_Game_King

@jking47:

Lemme see if I can remember the best pairings:

  • Ira & Holyn
  • Lachesis & Beowulf
  • Claude & Sylvia
  • Fury & Levin
  • Azel & Tiltyu
  • Brigid & Jamuka
  • Aideen & Midayle (this one I don't remember too well)

Addendum: I'm not even sure if this is a good pairing, but if you manage to pair Finn with Brigid, you win the Fire Emblems. All of them.

Also, if I remember correctly, it's about 20 hours long, at 12 huge ass chapters. (OK, 11 huge ass chapters and one medium sized tutorial-ish one.)

Posted by Red

Interesting read. I just started playing Sealed Sword over the past week, and, even though the fanslation is spotty and the maps and characters aren't nearly as interesting as say, Sacred Stones, I'm still having a blast playing it. I'll probably end up checking out Holy War next, considering it's seen as the best in the series. I'm also playing Final Fantasy Tactics at pretty much the same time, and it's neat to see how something seemingly as small as turn order and map size can completely change the way the games are played. Maybe I'll write a blog about the two sometime. But I probably won't.

Posted by jking47

@Video_Game_King: @Turambar: I see, thanks! Gonna start it tonight, hopefully finish this weekend. Maybe use it as an excuse to start posting blogs?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

Unfortunately, now I have to play through L.A. Noire at some point.

?

I really liked what I saw of L.A. Noire from an aesthetic and tonal perspective, but from what I am to understand the gameplay kinda sucks and the story goes up its own ass at the end. I'd like to see if these things are true. Because really, the alternative is me playing Chrono Cross and I've already gone into that game with the assumption that I will not finish it.

@Slag: The translation patch isn't hard to find. Neither is the ROM. But anyways, claimed that Suikoden IV wasn't as bad as people said it was (also, I kinda bought it because it was there and I didn't want to spend the time combing Play-N-Trade for any other game of value because the selection at my local Play-N-Trade is nothing short of abysmal). He agrees with me on a lot of stuff, so I figured I would give it a shot. My former roommate who recommended Suikoden III to me in the first place said "It's a horrible piece of poop" He and I also agree on a lot of stuff when it comes to games. Who is right? We'll find out...eventually.

@NegativeCero: The upside to half the series being Japan-only is that the Fire Emblem fanbase is totally fucking crazy (Just wander into a tier list discussion to see that. Because Fire Emblem, a franchise of single player games, needs comprehensive tier lists for units that are argued over in great detail), and thus they all have comprehensive translations, except for Shin Monshou no Nazo, which I played anyways. The legality is questionable, but at least an option exists at all. And now time for me to stop talking about this before we all get banned.

@Video_Game_King said:

@jking47:

Lemme see if I can remember the best pairings:

  • Ira & Holyn
  • Lachesis & Beowulf
  • Claude & Sylvia
  • Fury & Levin
  • Azel & Tiltyu
  • Brigid & Jamuka
  • Aideen & Midayle (this one I don't remember too well)

Also, if I remember correctly, it's about 20 hours long, at 12 huge ass chapters. (OK, 11 huge ass chapters and one medium sized tutorial-ish one.)

BriggidxDew is probably better I imagine, because then Patty gets sunlight sword/bargain as well as her father's weapons. Or maybe BriggidxLex. Because elite is never not welcome. Otherwise, this list is pretty solid for a first runthrough (not that it matters because as I took great pains to emphasize you can kinda pair whoever with whoever and the game will still be easy). And yeah, quite long. Just remember to save in multiple slots/use savestates as to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

@Red: Sealed Sword/Fuuin no Tsurugi has gotten a lot less popular than I remember it being back when i posted on Fire Emblem message boards back in like... 2007. I never beat it (I believe I screwed myself out of the true ending and gave up or something), but most of the appeal comes from it being like the other two GBA games but noticeably harder. Also noticeably drier. Because Roy isn't just the worst lord in the series from a statistical perspective. He's also one of the blandest! Also I don't think this game is the best in the series. If anything, what I've been playing of Thracia 776 seems crazy polished.

Edited by Red

@ArbitraryWater: Yeah, aside from Shadow Dragon, it's probably the worst Fire Emblem game I've played. I have been liking a few characters, although that's mainly because the Fire Emblem series proves the old adage "Usefulness creates likability." Still, it's Fire Emblem, and that's more than enough for me. It's also kinda neat to see the old characters from Blazing Sword, even though the majority of them seem to be killed off almost instantly. Good to hear it's one of the harder Fire Emblems though. It's been kicking me around like crazy, and I thought I was losing my touch.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Red said:

Yeah, aside from Shadow Dragon, it's probably the worst Fire Emblem game I've played.

What about Sacred Stones? Or the first Fire Emblem game? Those are worse than The Sealed Sword.

Posted by Mento

Suikoden IV is really just underwhelming rather than terrible. It does have pacing issues, a really kind of dry approach to everything (ironically enough) and I much prefer the big combat scenarios to boat battles, but you should be able to derive some enjoyment from it.

I'm kind of curious what Suikoden fans thought of Tierkreis actually. A lot of what made previous Suikodens great got excised, but it's got a really bizarre plot that kind of works for a spin-off.

Moderator
Posted by Red

@Video_Game_King: I have no idea why people rag on Sacred Stones so much. It's actually probably my favorite Fire Emblem. The maps and the characters are probably my favorite of the series. The story isn't at all original, but the relationships between characters are done well enough that I still found myself deeply caring about everything that happened. The Blazing Sword is better, too, for similar reasons. I'm only about halfway through Sealed Sword, so maybe it gets better, but I'm just not digging it in the way I did the other GBA Fire Emblems.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Red said:

@Video_Game_King: I have no idea why people rag on Sacred Stones so much. It's actually probably my favorite Fire Emblem.

Really? But the grinding knocks the difficulty down quite a bit and the class/ability system is iffy.

Posted by Hailinel
@Video_Game_King

@Red said:

Yeah, aside from Shadow Dragon, it's probably the worst Fire Emblem game I've played.

What about Sacred Stones? Or the first Fire Emblem game? Those are worse than The Sealed Sword.

You best not be knocking Sacred Stones.
Posted by Video_Game_King
Posted by ArbitraryWater

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

I be knockin' it.

Come now. Sacred Stones may be easy as hell, the class choices may be unbalanced and you can solo half the game with just Seth, but at least it has something resembling personality. Sword of Seals has some pretty bland support conversations to go along with its rather bland story. (Despite me saying that, you know I'm going to finish it up once I'm done with Thracia. Got myself to 17B in that game already, even though the general consensus is that the units you recruit on the A route are better)

Posted by Hunter5024

@Video_Game_King said:

@Red said:

@Video_Game_King: I have no idea why people rag on Sacred Stones so much. It's actually probably my favorite Fire Emblem.

Really? But the grinding knocks the difficulty down quite a bit and the class/ability system is iffy.

I never got the "It's too easy" complaint. Isn't it kind of your fault if you think it's too easy because you're grinding? I never go to the Tower of Valni until after the main campaign. Try Ephraims route, on hard, with no grinding. Once you get to chapter 11 you'll be grumbling "Fuck this game."

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hunter5024 said:

Once you get to chapter 11 you'll be grumbling "Fuck this game."

I imagine some of that will be because I'm playing on hard mode.

Posted by Hunter5024

@Video_Game_King: Well that's why it's there isn't it? For the people who find the game too easy. You can't really knock a game for being too easy if there's a hard mode. Although it's not my favorite entry either, I just think it has some of the best support conversations and a few really cool maps. A little better than Sealed Sword.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hunter5024 said:

@Video_Game_King: Well that's why it's there isn't it?

Yea, but it feels like a cop-out argument. "You want the game to be hard? Play the harder difficulty." I tend to play games on Normal (or Medium; I don't remember which one Sacred Stones went for) and base my criticisms on that.

Posted by Hailinel
@Video_Game_King

@Hunter5024 said:

@Video_Game_King: Well that's why it's there isn't it?

Yea, but it feels like a cop-out argument. "You want the game to be hard? Play the harder difficulty." I tend to play games on Normal (or Medium; I don't remember which one Sacred Stones went for) and base my criticisms on that.

That's not a cop-out. Higher difficulty levels are meant to be more difficult. You're complaining that the game on the standard difficulty isn't as hard, which is just a weird thing to oversee over.
Posted by Hunter5024

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hunter5024 said:

@Video_Game_King: Well that's why it's there isn't it?

Yea, but it feels like a cop-out argument. "You want the game to be hard? Play the harder difficulty." I tend to play games on Normal (or Medium; I don't remember which one Sacred Stones went for) and base my criticisms on that.

That's fair, but I think if you played it again on hard that you might have a more positive opinion of the game.

Posted by Hailinel

Obsess over, rather. Fucking auto correct.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hunter5024 said:

That's fair, but I think if you played it again on hard that you might have a more positive opinion of the game.

Fair enough, although there's no way in hell I'd do it right now. I'm playing Tear Ring Saga, after all, which is pretty much Sacred Stones if it were far crazier.

Posted by Hunter5024

@Hailinel said:

Obsess over, rather. Fucking auto correct.

"oversee over" that one made me giggle.

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hunter5024 said:

That's fair, but I think if you played it again on hard that you might have a more positive opinion of the game.

Fair enough, although there's no way in hell I'd do it right now. I'm playing Tear Ring Saga, after all, which is pretty much Sacred Stones if it were far crazier.

How?? I've been wanting to play that game but it was never released over here and I thought ps1 was region locked?

Posted by pyromagnestir

@ArbitraryWater said:

but the two generals you get are totally garbage and not worth touching at all.

Well I don't really like generals anyway... I like my characters mobile. Generals always get left behind.

I gave seisen no keifu a whirl back around the time the 3DS game was coming to the US. I must have chosen poorly from my options, however as the translation was lacking. Particularly with the menu's and such. I would like to give it a second go, with perhaps a better translation to help me make sense of things, one day.

What I wouldn't give for a proper North American Virtual Console release for all of the games. Though I imagine if that were to happen, some of the more incesty elements might get cut. I don't know how I feel about that...

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@pyromagnestir: To be fair, it's because wyvern riders do the same thing as Generals but with significantly more mobility and offensive potential (i.e. occasionally being able to double attack). Oswin is still totally great though.

The translation I used was quite solid, but I couldn't tell you where I found it because it's the same one I used back when I first tried out this game (and didn't get very far) sometime in the last decade. Considering that the incest in Sacred Stones (seriously, read Ephriam and Erika's support together) was still pretty much intact, I would think that Nintendo Treehouse would portray Celice having a thing for his half sister with a certain amount of tastefulness. Then again, this is all irrelevant because the chances of any of those 7 games making it stateside in any official capacity is null.

Posted by pyromagnestir

@ArbitraryWater: If this

Ephraim: Of course. I am not so far gone as that. And I could not bear to see you cry for our people. Besides, I would fear the judgment of your mighty sword.

were Eirika's line, then I might agree with you a bit more.

I love me some wyvern riders. Proper Fire Emblem translations is on my list of things I would try to do should I ever become filthy rich. (filthy rich me: "How much money is it gonna take to make this happen, Nintendo") So you're right. The chances are null.

Posted by Hailinel

Apropos of nothing, now that I look at the wiki page for Seisen no Keifu, I can see that it's a giant wall of text that is primarily story. Someone with more knowledge about this game than I (hint hint, and ) should probably clean that shit up.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Hailinel:

Funny thing, that: I actually did clean it up a bit a while back. Mostly just converting tenses, though.